Sports Betting Legalization on the Mind of AGA

by Kyle Miller

American Gaming AssociationThe American Gaming Association has come forward last week announcing their support for sports betting, hoping to see a ban on the activity in the United States repealed.

For decades, sports betting in the United States has been greatly restricted. Players have only been able to find the option in areas where the activity is legalized, which includes Nevada, Delaware, Oregon and Montana. In 1992, the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act was passed which offered gambling of sports in these four states. This was due to the fact that the sports gaming options were already offered in these four states in some form or fashion. Since that time, other states have wanted and even tried to offer sports betting but to no avail. Now, the American Gaming Association has come forward showing support and hoping that the ban on sports betting will be repealed.

Rewind One Year

Going back to 2015, the American Gaming Association created an Illegal Gambling Advisory Board. This group was led by Tim Murphy, the former FBI Deputy Director. This past week, the board was able to provide conclusions as to why the PASPA should be repealed.

The board consists of former officials in law enforcement who are now working to expose the illegal gambling marketplace of the US. In a statement, Murphy said that the current approach to sports betting in the US is not working. The approach is fueling enterprises by criminals and the time has now come to repeal the sports betting ban. Murphy stated that regulations need to be put in place that will benefit the states and protect consumers as well as maintain the integrity of sports games.

Results of the Law Enforcement Summit on Illegal Sports Betting

The IGAB has reported the results of their Law Enforcement Summit on Illegal Sports Betting which found that the PASPA is doing the opposite of what needed to be done. Instead of stopping illegal sports betting, the law has created an underground market for sports betting with $150 to $500 billion running in the black market with no consumer protections in place.

According to the results found by the IGAB, the group feels that illegal sports betting allows criminal syndicates to operate and thrive. To stop such gambling rings, a sports betting industry needs to be created that will create an open, transparent and regulated marketplace.

Sports League Issues

For years, sports leagues have been opposed to sports betting in the state. The NBA, NHL, MLB, NCAA and NFL have all shown opposition to sports betting in other states as an effort to protect the integrity of the sports games. However, it seems since last year, such leagues are changing their stance, even if just a little bit.

Adam Silver, the Commissioner of the NBA, stated back in May that sports betting should be legal and regulated, so transparency can be in place. Leagues have no idea what is going on and this would provide a level of control. Both the NHL and NFL are considering moving to Las Vegas which is an area where sports betting is prevalent and leagues have been opposed to having games in the region.

For now, sports betting is limited to the four states as in the PASPA. No immediate changes are expected any time soon but the American Gaming Association is a respected group and there opinion does have merit. The AGA may begin to work with lawmakers to try and see changes in the sports betting ban for regulations to be put in place for every state in the US. In the meantime, illegal sports betting will continue to take place and generate hundreds of billions in revenues in the process.